In a powerful piece at The Roanoke Times, Mike Ellerbrock recalls the moment when he realized how deeply racism is embedded in American culture and society. At the time, he was on a search committee for a new affirmative action officer at his university.
On my way to our second meeting, I ran into a fellow committee member whom I highly respect. As we walked across VT’s Drillfield, she asked me, “So Mike, did you call your eight colleagues?” I proudly said, “Yes, I did.”
She said, “I did, too, and guess what? After I called my eight American colleagues, I realized that I called all eight white people! I feel terrible, but that’s who I know.”
I shamefully responded, “Oh my gosh, I did, too! That’s who I went to grad school with, that’s who I’ve kept up with for years.”
It was a sobering moment: the system is unbalanced and self-perpetuating.
Follow the link for his discussion on where that realization led him.